Lakewood Yacht Club (LYC) members Chris and Karen Lewis have been displaying their sailing prowess on their J/44 Kenai along the east coast sailing circuit. Kenai's signature Texas Flag is hard to miss on the horizon.
In a record-breaking heat, the Lewis' along with LYC crew members Al Goethe, Bill Zartler and Mike McGagh, won the IRC2 Class and took third overall in the IRC Fleet in the "Granddaddy of Ocean Races," the 37th biennial Marblehead to Halifax race on July 9. Kenaialso took home the coveted Chelsea Clock Trophy for best-combined results in the Marblehead to Halifax and Annapolis to Newport races.
Kenai placed second in the IRC2 Class in the Annapolis to Newport Race. Together with the Lewis', Zartler and J.D. Hill crewed Kenai to a win first out of the bay but were narrowly beaten by Orion, which was navigated by Libby Greenhalgh, who was also navigator for the all-women Volvo Ocean Race Team. Kenai also won best combined score for Annapolis to Newport and Newport to Bermuda races.
In the 163rd Annual New York Yacht Club Regatta, the boat was switched to the One-Design configuration, and the Lewis' and their talented LYC crew of Susan and J.D. Hill, McGagh and Kevin Hayes won the J/44 Class, competing against six identical J/44s.
The J/44s held their North American Championship as part of the Block Island Race Week. Kenai won the event in dramatic fashion making up a deficit of 5 points on the last day of racing and finishing in a tie. Kenai took the win over Challenge IV because she had more first-place wins.
Earlier this year, in only their second Southern Ocean Racing Conference event, the Lewis' took First Place in ORC in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. They also won the best performance award for any boat over 25 years old. The team made up of local and east coast sailors finished 27 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Photos Courtesy of Lakewood Yacht Club, Photo of Chris & Karen Lewis by Al Geothe, Photo of Kenai by Stephen R. Cloutier